NFFO Executive Committee

27th June 2012 in Executive

The NFFO Executive Committee met recently in York to address the main issues currently confronting the fishing industry.

All vessel sizes, types of fishing and areas are represented on the Executive Committee, giving its consensus views a unique authority.

The Executive:

  • Received a report on the outcome of the Council of Minister’s recent agreement on CFP Reform. The Executive agreed to accept an invitation to meet with the Defra Fisheries Director in the near future to discuss the both the content of the Council’s ‘General Approach’ to CFP reform and to plan the next stages including engagement with the European Parliament,
  • Discussed the Minister’s positive reception the Federation’s constructive ideas for resolving the quota problems facing parts of the under-10m fleet. It was agreed to seek a further meeting at official level to progress these initiatives, given the stalemate that seemed to have developed.
  • Agreed to seek an urgent meeting with Defra officials to clarify the implications for different parts of the industry of the concordat between Defra and the devolved administrations
  • Resolved to prepare a careful and detailed rebuttal of the deliberate misrepresentations of the fishing industry contained in recent Sunday Times articles; to summit a parallel complaint to the Press Complaints Commission
  • Agreed to continue to work with STECF, the North Sea and North West Waters RACs, Defra and in the context of EU Norway negotiations for a more flexible and effective approach to rebuilding the cod stocks through a multi-species management plan
  • Received an update on the Federation’s work on the Irish Sea and North Sea on more selective gear in the nephrops fisheries to meet UK commitments made at the December Council
  • Agreed to participate in Defra working group on the practical application of a discard ban and new approaches to fishing gear selectivity
  • Agreed that the success or otherwise of an EU discard ban would be entirely contingent on the coherence of the condition as and accompanying measures such as TAC increase, catch composition rules etc
  • Agree to prepare the Federation’s position on the Commission’s Policy Statement on its approach to setting TACs in 2013, with particular reference to an improved approach to data-poor stocks, opposing functional unit TACs for nephrops, a cautious approach to extending TACs to new stocks.
  • Prepared for the next NFFO meeting with the Marine Management Organisation, provisionally scheduled for 7th August; approved a strong letter objecting to a single supplier monopoly for VMS equipment for under-15m vessel
  • Agreed to accept an offer from Defra to discuss the way forward on stalled shellfish policy at senior official level
  • Agreed to continue to support the MPA Fishing Coalition by providing a secretariat and policy guidance
  • Continue to work for an acceptable, balanced and evidenced approach to management measures in the Dogger Bank Special Area of Conservation, not least because of the precedent for other European Marine Sites
  • Agreed to investigate the possibility of a grant application for bulk purchase of personal flotation devices for NFFO members
  • Agreed to notify members that under incoming legislation engaging a single crew member under an employment contract (as opposed to share arrangements) means that the whole vessel will be subject to various rafts of employment legislation from which share fishing vessels are currently exempt
  • Agreed to again raise the anomaly through which non-sector vessels are prohibited from leasing additional quota
  • Agreed to circulate an easily accessible booklet on fishermen’s health